Do you suffer from symptoms that no one can seem to explain why you experience them? Brain fog? Belly bloat? Multiple allergies? Skin conditions? Constipation? Auto-immune disease? If so, the elimination diet could quite possibly offer you the most easily available answers to your problems in a very short amount of time, in spite of the lack of diagnosis available to you thus far.
I liken the elimination diet to an experiment, with you, with your body as the test model. There is no risk. No blood work. No expensive tests. You simply remove all the foods that commonly cause allergic and inflammatory responses in the human body and add alkalizing, nutrient dense choices instead, to quell inflammation and restore proper digestion. By eliminating the foods that commonly cause an allergic response for a window of time, you gain perspective on ingredients that can literally be robbing you of your health and vitality, even though you may think you are already living and eating healthfully.
Considered the “second brain” in our body, the gut is teeming with neurotransmitters, hormones and chemical messengers, with the majority of our immune system surrounding the gut walls. In the elimination diet, you start by eliminating common culprits of digestive upset and common food allergens. You dial down your daily meals and snacks so that you are only eating whole, nutrient dense foods that quell inflammation and promote calm and balance. To begin to heal your gut with a proper elimination diet, the categories of food to eliminate are:
- Grains – The foundation of the Food Pyramid for decades, now is under suspect, since it is now discovered that so many people experience great difficulty digesting grains, including corn.
- Processed Foods – There are many toxic chemicals (like MSG, artificial colors, and flavorings) and other undesirable ingredients (like GMOs, trans fats, and HFCS) in processed food that can impede digestion and cause havoc in multitudes of ways.
- High Glycemic Foods – Large amounts of starches and added sugars can feed a bacterial overgrowth and other gut dysbiosis problems.
- Gluten and Fructans – Found in many grains, gluten has been found to be one of the causes of leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune diseases. Fructans are found in FODMAPS (short-chain carbohydrates) and can also feed those bad bugs in your gut.
- Unrefined Oils – These can cause inflammation throughout your body.
- Feedlot Meats and Dairy – Meats and dairy from the conventional food system are full of hormones, antibiotics, and even poisons such as arsenic.
- Eggs, Peanuts, and Shellfish – All are common food allergens.
- Gut Irritants – Caffeine and alcohol wreak havoc on your gut. Avoid these while you are healing.
You will know, as you begin to add foods back in, what works for you and what doesn’t for you. I suggest adding foods back in slowly; give the diet a few weeks to quell inflammation and restore inner calm and balance, and then start adding foods back in one at a time. If a food or ingredient causes you to experience symptoms on 3 different occasions, you will know that you are sensitive to that food and to avoid it for a while. Try again later. Ultimately, you will come up with a plan that you know is good for your body, because your energy will soar, your Spirit will feel lighter, your health will radiate from the inside out. Everyone is different and finding what works best for you will change the course of your whole life!
Every month I offer an online elimination group detox that offers a wonderful dynamic of challenge and learning. If interested, please do check it out here.